Waiho raa kia tuu takitahi ana ngaa whetuu o te rangi
Let it be one alone that stands among the stars
Today, 3 May 2022, marks 75 years since Middlemore Hospital was first opened by Sir Bernard and Lady Freyburgh.
What was a 300-bed military hospital has since become a world-class hospital, staffed by thousands, serving a community of over 600,000.
The auspicious day was commemorated with the opening of a memorial garden. A small gathering of past and present staff and leaders assembled to oversee the blessing of a Mauri stone honouring the significant moment in history.
Representing Manawhenua, Mr Robert Clarke said the stone was delivered from Port Waikato and took ten men to move.
"This stone was placed in this garden on purpose to be near our most vulnerable in the hospital as a source of strength," Mr Clarke said.
"The floor above is the ICU where patients are fighting for their lives. This is a wellness space for whaanau from all walks to gather here to pray for their loved ones. May this be a place of refuge, and may their faith, like this rock, be unshaken."
Image: Manawhenua and CM Health staff assemble to bless the Mauri stone.
CEO Dr Pete Watson referred to the occasion as a celebration of people, solidifying the importance of the hospital to the community and, more importantly, the community to the hospital.
"Middlemore and the land it sits on is a sacred place for mana whenua and our community. It is a place where thousands of people have started their lives, have been treated, and where many have spent their last hours on this earth.”
"We are tremendously proud of our long history serving the people of the Counties Manukau rohe."
Dr Watson also paid tribute to the many staff who have worked at Middlemore.
"We are honouring the legacy of the people who built this hospital from the ground up and those who walked its halls over the last 75 years, understanding, as they did, that we are custodians and, as such, have a responsibility to future generations."
Former CEOs Mr Stephen McKernon, Mr Lester Levy, and Ms Margie Apa all spoke, echoing sentiments of pride for leading Middlemore and Counties Manukau Health and noting the mark the organisation has left on their heart and soul.
“Middlemore gets under your skin, into your soul, your heart,” said Ms Apa.
Image: CM Health CEO, Dr Pete Watson, addresses the audience